Branding makes all the difference to a business. Get it right, and you can reap the rewards; get it wrong, however, and you could be stuck on the starting block.
Your brand is what defines your business in the eyes of others. For small businesses wanting to upscale especially, branding must be a key part of their strategy.
As specialists in branding, based in Manchester, we help our clients shape their brand identities and express the essence of what they’re about through excellence in design.
Branding is a Strategy
Branding only works if it is part of a strategy. In other words, it’s not simply about having a logo and applying it willy nilly.
While a memorable, well-designed logo is important, it will only work as part of an overall approach to branding that takes your target audience and market into account, and understands how your business fits in.
Brand strategy is the how, what, where of your communications, and, crucially, to whom you want to communicate.
You must, therefore, know your audience to make your branding effective.
You need to know who your target audience is inside out. What are their interests and habits and, most of all, their concerns, worries and pain points?
Research them and then use this knowledge to build your brand.
Where do you advertise, and what are your distribution channels? These should be as much a part of your brand strategy as the content of your communication and messages.
How Do You Define Your Brand?
For any business, this is a journey of self-discovery.
Consider your tone of voice. Your branding is more than visual. It must encompass your business’s values, and express these in a consistent way that will resonate with your audience.
To get to this point, you must ask certain questions about your own business:
- What are its aims?
- What are the benefits of its products or services?
- What qualities do you want your prospects and customers to associate with your business?
- What do your prospects and customers actually think of you?
These are not always easy questions for you to answer, or to ask, but they are essential in getting to the basics of what forms your brand.
You must do your research diligently.
Your brand is your promise to your customer. From it, they should understand what they can expect from you, and how what you offer is different from your competition.
You are raising awareness through your branding. This means developing a distinctive visual presence, but going beyond a distinctive– to all your channels, from physical marketing material to online communications.
But it goes deeper than this. It informs how you answer the phone to enquiries, your email signatures, your overall customer service. This is brand integration.
What is Brand Equity?
Brand equity is the added value a strong brand brings to your products or services. A strong brand rewards your business by bolstering it, allowing you to charge your customers more, because they recognise what your brand is worth.
When it comes to branding, small businesses should think bigger. Branding cannot be successful if it is piecemeal or half-hearted. Develop your brand as if you were already a successful, nationally, or even globally, known name. Treat it as something that should enhance your credibility.
How We Can Help Your Branding
Branding is a full-time commitment. If it feels like a challenge, then now is the time to get professional help, advice and support with your branding.
We can develop your brand, find your voice and help you position your business more strongly in front of the people that count, your target audience, prospects and customers.
Give us a call on 0161 777 6000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org